Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Chip Kelly playing it close to the vest
By Dan Graziano
Sheil Kapadia is looking for clues. Knowing that new Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly doesn't want to reveal much, if anything, about his plans, and knowing that NFL coaches in general don't like to reveal much at all, Sheil is examining the comments and moves that have been made since Kelly was hired for clues about what might happen. Eagles fans are hungry to know what the offense and defense will look like, and since we're still weeks away from Kelly's first minicamp, there's not a lot we can do but guess.
But Sheil has three things he believes have revealed themselves: That Kelly is seeking versatility, that he likes big players on defense and that he doesn't want to be labeled as ... really anything. The second conclusion is obvious and definable. The first and third connect with each other.
I think Kelly is smart enough to realize that he can't come into the NFL with defined ideas about what he wants to do -- that the stuff that worked in college isn't automatically going to work in the NFL, especially with a roster full of players he didn't recruit himself out of high school. I think the reason he has been looking for versatile players is that he doesn't know what he's going to do yet, and so he's looking for guys who can fit into any plans that might develop. And I think he shies away from labels because they strike him as simplistic and he believes coaching football to be complex.
Because they have a new coach, the Eagles get one extra minicamp this year, and Kelly has said it's likely to be the week before the draft. Once he can get the players he has on the field and talk to them about what they can and can't do, he should be able to start defining his specific plans a bit. In the meantime, all we can do is look for clues.